AI and machine learning are like an unstoppable tidal wave in today’s world. We’ve already seen the crest of that wave appear over the horizon with increased automation in businesses and the emergence of apps like ChatGPT. But in the coming years, the wave will engulf the world, making AI big business.
That’s supported by statistics from Statista, too, with reports that the AI market that was worth $200 billion (approx. €185 billion) in 2022 will be worth a staggering $2 trillion (approx. €1.85 trillion) in 2030. The point is that massive growth is coming in AI, and the right Master’s in AI is the key for you to be a part of that growth rather than getting stuck in an industry that gets consumed by it.
Top European Programs for Masters in AI and ML
In choosing the MSc artificial intelligence programs that appear on this list, we looked at factors ranging from the quality (and variety) of course content to who provides the degree. The three courses highlighted here are among Europe’s best to offer to European and overseas students.
Master in Artificial Intelligence (Universita di Bologna)
Though it’s held in Italy, this Master’s program is delivered in English as part of Universita di Bologna’s computer science program. It’s an on-campus course, meaning you’ll have to move to Bologna to attend.
The course provides a solid grounding in the foundations of AI over two years. You’ll get to grips with topics like machine learning and natural language processing, in addition to touching on the ethical and social issues that the rise of AI brings to the table.
The course is welcoming to international students, as it currently has a 77% ratio of international students who don’t come from Bologna. To apply, you must complete an application on the Studenti Online program, along with a mandatory form. Failure to follow this procedure leads to your application being discarded. Applicants don’t necessarily need to hold a Bachelor’s degree, though they must demonstrate a transcript of record that shows they have earned at least 150 ECTS or CFU credits in majors like computer science, mathematics, statistics, and physics.
The course page boasts that 90.5% of its 2021 graduates were happy with their degrees. It’s natural to assume most of these graduates leveraged their Master’s in artificial intelligence to move into careers in the field.
Master in Applied Data Science & AI (OPIT)
If you want to master artificial intelligence with a sprinkling of applying that mastery to the data science industry, OPIT’s course is right for you. It’s an 18-month course (though a 12-month fast-track version is available) that is fully online and delivers 90 ECTS credits. The first term covers the foundational aspects of AI, including subjects like machine learning and data science. But the second term stands out as it moves study from the theoretical to the practical by challenging you to solve real-world problems with your knowledge.
As an online program, it’s available to anybody anywhere, with entry requirements also being flexible. You’ll need a BSc degree, even one from a non-technical field, and should demonstrate English proficiency up to the B2 level with appropriate certification. Don’t worry if you don’t have an English language certification because OPIT offers its own that you can take before registering for the course.
Career-wise, the course is a good option because it occupies an interesting middle-ground between theory and practicality. The second term, in particular, equips you with skills that you can apply directly in fields as varied as IT business analysis, business intelligence, and data science.
MSc in Advanced Computer Science (University of Oxford)
Though it’s not marketed directly as a Master’s in machine learning and artificial intelligence, the University of Oxford’s program gives you excellent qualifications in both. It’s also delivered by an institution that EduRank names as the best for AI in the UK, and sixth-best in the world. The course examines advanced machine learning and computer security techniques, focusing on computational models and the algorithms behind them.
It’s a full-time program demanding 35 hours of weekly study, 15 of which you’ll spend on campus with the other 20 dedicated to self-study. It’s also a tough nut to crack for applicants, as the University of Oxford has a low 18% acceptance rate. You’ll need a first-class undergraduate degree with honors (or an equivalent) in mathematics or computer science to stand a chance of getting into one of the UK’s most prestigious universities.
Those tough entry requirements pay off later on, though, as the words “University of Oxford” on a CV immediately make employers stand up and pay attention. The wide-ranging approach of the program also means you’re not focusing solely on AI, opening up career opportunities in other fields related to math and statistical analysis.
Data Science Master – Europe’s Best Options
Data science is an industry that requires you to translate your understanding of algorithmic theory to transform complex data sets into actionable insights. It’s also an industry that’s making increasingly heavy use of AI tools, making a Master’s in data science a great companion (or alternative) to the best artificial intelligence Master in Europe. As you noticed above, OPIT’s MSc AI program includes elements of data science, though the two programs here (covered in brief) are excellent choices as standalone programs.
MSc Data Sciences and Business Analytics (Essec Business School)
This hybrid course lasts for either one or two years, depending on your background, and focuses on the application of data sciences in a business context. It’s also ranked as the fourth-best Master’s in business analytics in the world by QS World University Rankings.
That high ranking is backed up by the university’s own statistics, which state that over half of its students get jobs before they even complete the course. Essec has a 100% career success rate for graduates in less than six months from completion of the Master’s, making this a great choice for career-focused students. Google, Amazon, JP Morgan Chase, and PwC count as some of the top recruiters that keep their eye on graduates from this program.
Admission requires a degree in a related technical subject, such as engineering, science, or business, from a leading university. That degree also impacts the version of the program you take, as a three-year BSc means you take the two-year Master’s, while those who have a four-year BSc under their belts take the one-year version, assuming they meet other requirements.
Data Science, Technology, and Innovation (University of Edinburgh)
With over 13,000 international students, the University of Edinburgh welcomes overseas students who want to expand their knowledge. Its MSc data science program is no different, buoyed by the fact that it’s an online course that doesn’t require you to move to the less-than-sunny climate of Edinburgh.
It’s a part-time program that relies on self-study, though it provides you with plenty of interactive resources to help along the way. The program is something of an umbrella course as it focuses on equipping students with the knowledge they need to enter the data science field across industries as diverse as medicine, science, and even the arts.
You’ll need the equivalent of an Upper Second-Class Honors degree that has elements of programming before applying. Ideally, you’ll also have evidence of mathematical skill, either through taking math classes in your undergraduate studies or by demonstrating the equivalent of an English A-Level in math through other qualifications.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Artificial Intelligence Master’s
The five programs highlighted here all help you master artificial intelligence, with many also providing a practical grounding that puts you in good stead for your future career. But if you want to do more research (and that’s always a good idea), the following factors should be on your mind when checking other programs:
- Course Curriculum – The content of your course impacts what you can do once you have your MSc under your belt. Focus on programs that teach tangible skills applicable to the field you wish to enter.
- Faculty – Always check the credentials of the program’s creators and administrators, particularly in terms of industry experience, to confirm they have the relevant tools.
- Tuition and Financial Aid – Master’s programs aren’t cheap (you’ll pay several thousand euros for even an online course), so check you can budget accordingly for the program. Many universities offer financial aid options, from scholarships to student loans, that can help in this area.
- Location – The location isn’t really an issue if you take an online course, but it impacts your decision if you decide to study on-campus. Remember that you’ll spend at least a year of your life on the course (often two years) so you need to gel well with the place in which you’ll live.
- Networking and Industry – Does the course provider have connections to major industry players? Does it offer career advice, ideally via a specialized office or program? These are the types of questions to ask when assessing a university’s capacity for networking and career advancement.
Become a Master in Artificial Intelligence
A Master’s degree in artificial intelligence is your entry point into a growing industry that’s already on the verge of taking the world by storm. That is, assuming you choose the right program. The five highlighted here all land in the “right program” category by virtue of the tuition you receive, the reputation of the institution, and their accessibility to European and overseas students.
Research each program (and any others you consider) extensively before making a choice. Remember that it’s not always about the course or its reputation – it’s about how the course helps you achieve the specific learning goals you need to achieve to get ahead in your chosen career.
Soon, we will be launching four new Degrees for AY24-25 at OPIT – Open Institute of Technology
I want to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the Product Definition process that has shaped these upcoming programs.
🚀 Phase 1: Discovery (Late May – End of July)
Our journey began with intensive brainstorming sessions with OPIT’s Academic Board (Francesco Profumo, Lorenzo Livi, Alexiei Dingli, Andrea Pescino, Rosario Maccarrone) . We also conducted 50+ interviews with tech and digital entrepreneurs (both from startups and established firms), academics and students. Finally, we deep-dived into the “Future of Jobs 2023” report by the World Economic Forum and other valuable research.
🔍 Phase 2: Selection – Crafting Our Roadmap (July – August)
Our focus? Introducing new degrees addressing critical workforce shortages and upskilling/reskilling needs for the next 5-10 years, promising significant societal impact and a broad market reach.
Our decision? To channel our energies on full BScs and MScs, and steer away from shorter courses or corporate-focused offerings. This aligns perfectly with our core mission.
💡 Focus Areas Unveiled!
We’re thrilled to concentrate on pivotal fields like:
- Advanced AI
- Digital Business
- Metaverse & Gaming
- Cloud Computing (less “glamorous”, but market demand is undeniable).
🎓 Phase 3: Definition – Shaping the Degrees (August – November)
With an expert in each of the above fields, and with the strong collaboration of our Academic Director, Prof. Lorenzo Livi , we embarked on a rigorous “drill-down process”. Our goal? To meld modern theoretical knowledge with cutting-edge competencies and skills. This phase included interviewing over 60+ top academics, industry professionals, and students and get valuable, program-specific, insights from our Marketing department.
🌟 Phase 4: Accreditation and Launch – The Final Stretch
We’re currently in the accreditation process, gearing up for the launch. The focus is now shifting towards marketing, working closely with Greta Maiocchi and her Marketing and Admissions team. Together, we’re translating our new academic offering into a compelling value proposition for the market.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Far from being a temporary educational measure that came into its own during the pandemic, online education is providing students from all over the world with new ways to learn. That’s proven by statistics from Oxford Learning College, which point out that over 100 million students are now enrolled in some form of online course.
The demand for these types of courses clearly exists.
In fact, the same organization indicates that educational facilities that introduce online learning see a 42% increase in income – on average – suggesting that the demand is there.
Enter the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT).
Delivering three online courses – a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and two Master’s degrees – with more to come, OPIT is positioning itself as a leader in the online education space. But why is that? After all, many institutions are making the jump to e-learning, so what separates OPIT from the pack?
Here, you’ll discover the answers as you delve into the five reasons why you should trust OPIT for your online education.
Reason 1 – A Practical Approach
OPIT focuses on computer science education – a field in which theory often dominates the educational landscape. The organization’s Rector, Professor Francesco Profumo, makes this clear in a press release from June 2023. He points to a misalignment between what educators are teaching computer science students and what the labor market actually needs from those students as a key problem.
“The starting point is the awareness of the misalignment,” he says when talking about how OPIT structures its online courses. “That so-called mismatch is generated by too much theory and too little practical approach.” In other words, students in many classes spend far too much time learning the “hows” and “whys” behind computerized systems without actually getting their hands dirty with real work that gives them practical experience in using those systems.
OPIT takes a different approach.
It has developed a didactic approach that focuses far more on the practical element than other courses. That approach is delivered through a combination of classroom sessions – such as live lessons and masterclasses – and practical work offered through quizzes and exercises that mimic real-world situations.
An OPIT student doesn’t simply learn how computers work. They put their skills into practice through direct programming and application, equipping them with skills that are extremely attractive to major employers in the tech field and beyond.
Reason 2 – Flexibility Combined With Support
Flexibility in how you study is one of the main benefits of any online course.
You control when you learn and how you do it, creating an environment that’s beneficial to your education rather than being forced into a classroom setting with which you may not feel comfortable. This is hardly new ground. Any online educational platform can claim that it offers “flexibility” simply because it provides courses via the web.
Where OPIT differs is that it combines that flexibility with unparalleled support bolstered by the experiences of teachers employed from all over the world. The founder and director of OPIT, Riccardo Ocleppo, sheds more light on this difference in approach when he says, “We believe that education, even if it takes place physically at a distance, must guarantee closeness on all other aspects.” That closeness starts with the support offered to students throughout their entire study period.
Tutors are accessible to students at all times. Plus, every participant benefits from weekly professor interactions, ensuring they aren’t left feeling stuck on an educational “island” and have to rely solely on themselves for their education. OPIT further counters the potential isolation that comes with online learning with a Student Support team to guide students through any difficulties they may have with their courses.
In this focus on support, OPIT showcases one of its main differences from other online platforms.
You don’t simply receive course material before being told to “get on with it.” You have the flexibility to learn at your own pace while also having a support structure that serves as a foundation for that learning.
Reason 3 – OPIT Can Adapt to Change Quickly
The field of computer science is constantly evolving.
In the 2020s alone, we’ve seen the rise of generative AI – spurred on by the explosive success of services like ChatGPT – and how those new technologies have changed the way that people use computers.
Riccardo Ocleppo has seen the impact that these constant evolutions have had on students. Before founding OPIT, he was an entrepreneur who received first-hand experience of the fact that many traditional educational institutions struggle to adapt to change.
“Traditional educational institutions are very slow to adapt to this wave of new technologies and trends within the educational sector,” he says. He points to computer science as a particular issue, highlighting the example of a board in Italy of which he is a member. That board – packed with some of the country’s most prestigious tech universities – spent three years eventually deciding to add just two modules on new and emerging technologies to their study programs.
That left Ocleppo feeling frustrated.
When he founded OPIT, he did so intending to make it an adaptable institution in which courses were informed by what the industry needs. Every member of its faculty is not only a superb teacher but also somebody with experience working in industry. Speaking of industry, OPIT collaborates with major companies in the tech field to ensure its courses deliver the skills that those organizations expect from new candidates.
This confronts frustration on both sides. For companies, an OPIT graduate is one for which they don’t need to bridge a “skill gap” between what they’ve learned and what the company needs. For you, as a student, it means that you’re developing skills that make you a more desirable prospect once you have your degree.
Reason 4 – OPIT Delivers Tier One Education
Despite their popularity, online courses can still carry a stigma of not being “legitimate” in the face of more traditional degrees. Ocleppo is acutely aware of this fact, which is why he’s quick to point out that OPIT always aims to deliver a Tier One education in the computer science field.
“That means putting together the best professors who create superb learning material, all brought together with a teaching methodology that leverages the advancements made in online teaching,” he says.
OPIT’s degrees are all accredited by the European Union to support this approach, ensuring they carry as much weight as any other European degree. It’s accredited by both the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and the Malta Qualification Framework (MQF), with all of its courses having full legal value throughout Europe.
It’s also here where we see OPIT’s approach to practicality come into play via its course structuring.
Take its Bachelor’s degree in computer science as an example.
Yes, that course starts with a focus on theoretical and foundational knowledge. Building a computer and understanding how the device processes instructions is vital information from a programming perspective. But once those foundations are in place, OPIT delivers on its promises of covering the most current topics in the field.
Machine learning, cloud computing, data science, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity – all valuable to employers – are taught at the undergraduate level. Students benefit from a broader approach to computer science than most institutions are capable of, rather than bogging them down in theory that serves little practical purpose.
Reason 5 – The Learning Experience
Let’s wrap up by honing in on what it’s actually like for students to learn with OPIT.
After all, as Ocleppo points out, one of the main challenges with online education is that students rarely have defined checkpoints to follow. They can start feeling lost in the process, confronted with a metaphorical ocean of information they need to learn, all in service of one big exam at the end.
Alternatively, some students may feel the temptation to not work through the materials thoroughly, focusing instead on passing a final exam. The result is that those students may pass, but they do so without a full grasp of what they’ve learned – a nightmare for employers who already have skill gaps to handle.
OPIT confronts both challenges by focusing on a continuous learning methodology. Assessments – primarily practical – take place throughout the course, serving as much-needed checkpoints for evaluating progress. When combined with the previously mentioned support that OPIT offers, this approach has led to courses that are created from scratch in service of the student’s actual needs.
Choose OPIT for Your Computer Science Education
At OPIT, the focus lies as much on helping students to achieve their dream careers as it does on teaching them. All courses are built collaboratively. With a dedicated faculty combined with major industry players, such as Google and Microsoft, it delivers materials that bridge the skill gap seen in the computer science field today.
There’s also more to come.
Beyond the three degrees OPIT offers, the institution plans to add more. Game development, data science, and cloud computing, to name a few, will receive dedicated degrees in the coming months, accentuating OPIT’s dedication to adapting to the continuous evolution of the computer science industry. Discover OPIT today – your journey into computing starts with the best online education institution available.